BY DEAN HOCKNEY
RUSSIAVILLE, Ind. – No matter how you look at it, Corey Hinkle had a stellar season. Unfortunately, under the bright center light at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the stellar season ended with a loss in the 182-pound weight class at the IHSAA Wrestling State Finals.
The match had all of the makings of an instant classic as No. 1-ranked Chase Osborn of Penn battled No. 2 Hinkle of Western. Both were undefeated seniors looking to take home a state championship medal. In the end, Osborn got the best of Hinkle in an 8-6 thriller.
In an action packed first period, Osborn (39-0) attacked first, and 40 seconds into the match held a 2-0 lead on a takedown. Hinkle scored on an escape three seconds later and took the lead at 3-2 on a takedown of his own 69 seconds into the match. The first period ended in a 3-3 draw after the Penn wrestler scored a point on an escape.
The second period slowed and played more strategically. Osborn earned the only point on an escape at the 48-second mark to hold a 4-3 lead after two.
The final period proved to be the difference-maker. Eight second in, Hinkle (47-1) knotted the score at four with an escape. But midway through the stanza, Osborn put the match away with four points on a takedown and nearfall. Hinkle added two points on a reversal with 29 seconds left, but the Penn wrestler went on defense and laid flat on the mat to earn the state championship.
Hinkle, who finished third last year, earned a trip to the championship after a 4-3 win over Andrew Davison of Chesterton and a 10-3 victory over Gage Garpow of Winamac. Hinkle graduates as the winningest wrestler in Western history with 164 victories.
Ellis earns podium position, Wright qualified
Eastern sophomore Evan Ellis earned an eighth place podium finish at 220-pounds. He lost to Warren Central’s Courvoisier Morrow 7-2 in the quarterfinals. He lost 2-1 in overtime to Avon’s Gunnar Larson and fell in the seventh place match 4-2 to Cathedral’s Ryan Guhl.
Kokomo sophomore Jabin Wright lost 18-3 in the opening round on Friday night to Cathedral’s Skylour Turner at 113-pounds.